Selling with ‘Help to Buy’? Don’t forget your RICS Valuation

A new survey has revealed that up to a third of home buyers do not fully investigate potentially serious issues when buying a new home. The survey by Atom Bank highlighted the risks that purchasers make when buying a house – finding that over half don’t check for major issues such as rising damp, central heating, electrics, or structural problems.

The survey revealed that 54% of buyers did not investigate common issues such as damp, the same number not looking at potential central heating issues, 58% ignoring electrical issues, and 59% roof problems, while 67% overlooked asbestos concerns and 61% structural concerns.

With each one of these issues costing hundreds or even thousands of pounds to resolve, it becomes clear that people are taking significant risks on a regular basis. Structural issues or asbestos in particular can open up a can of worms, and the cost of repair work can consequently spiral very quickly.

Of course there is a simple way to mitigate the risk of expensive repairs – and this is to have a survey completed by a Chartered Surveyor before proceeding with a property purchase.

The relative cost of a RICS Homebuyer Survey or a Building Survey Report is only small when compared with the level of risk and the potential cost of building repairs, and so the decision of whether or not to have a survey undertaken should be an easy one.

Unfortunately, buyers in England and Wales do not always realise that when purchasing a property it’s a case of buyer beware – with there being almost no opportunity for come back once the sale has gone through.

Not only is buying a house one of the biggest purchases you will make in your life, it is also one of the riskiest.  These figures go to show the extent to which buyers may be opening themselves up to the risk and future cost of repairs. Alongside this is the disruption involved if repairs are needed – any work to resolve damp, structural issues or asbestos will often create a significant level of mess. Not something you want to be doing having just moved and settled into a new house.

Knowing what you are letting yourself in for allows you to prepare – both from a monetary perspective and in terms of planning the works needed. If the survey reveals issues you were previously unaware of, it may also be possible to renegotiate the asking price with the vendor.

To discuss our range of residential surveys or to get a quote on a property you are buying, please contact us. We would be happy to advise you on the most suitable option.


Preston Office
Telephone: 01772 458866
Blackburn Office
Telephone: 01254 260196
Clitheroe Office
Telephone: 01200 320040
Lancaster Office
Telephone: 01524 899850
Manchester Office
Telephone: 0161 265 0070
Lea Hough is a trading name of Lea Hough & Co LLP, which is a Limited Liability Partnership registered in England and Wales under partnership number OC306054.
Registered Office: Oakshaw House, 2 Capricorn Park, Blakewater Road, Blackburn, Lancashire, BB1 5QR